One of the most significant catalogue-era releases by The Beatles – the newly-mixed Let It Be…Naked, a stripped-down version of the band’s final album – makes its debut on iTunes today.
The story of Let It Be is by now the stuff of music legend. Bassist Paul McCartney proposed an LP that stepped away from the complex, overdub-heavy works of their 1968 self-titled album (better known, of course, as “The White Album”). Provisionally titled Get Back, the sessions featured plenty of new songs overseen by longtime producer George Martin but plenty more tension as well; guitarist George Harrison temporarily quit the band during this time, and as a planned documentary by Michael Lindsay-Hogg captured, the once-blossoming collaboration between John Lennon and McCartney was nearly nonexistent.
The band ultimately shelved the sessions as compiled by engineer Glyn Johns and recorded Abbey Road, released in 1969. The resultant album, released in May of 1970, five months after Lennon’s unannounced departure and one month after Paul announced his departure and issued his own solo album, was still full of great works, including singles “Get Back,” the title track and “The Long and Winding Road” as well as “Across the Universe” and “Two of Us.”
But, as McCartney would remind audiences consistently, one of his sorest contentions with the album was the decision to have producer Phil Spector remix the tracks for the finished album. Thus, in 2002 McCartney and a team of engineers at Abbey Road Studios restored, remastered and remixed the album into a fashion that hewed closer to Paul’s original vision. Released in 2003 to divisive reviews, Let It Be…Naked is nonetheless a captivating alternate account of the legendary band’s swan song.
And now, following the release of the band’s full studio album discography on iTunes, as well as the Love soundtrack and the Anthology series, Let It Be…Naked will make its debut on the digital music service as a paid download and free streaming album. The set will feature a digital booklet replicating the physical album’s liner notes as well as the full contents of the “Fly on the Wall” bonus disc included with first pressings of the album. featuring a 22-minute sound collage of in-studio rehearsals and chatter. Videos for the “Naked” versions of “Get Back” and “Don’t Let Me Down” are also available.
Let It Be…Naked (released as Apple 07243 595714 2 3 (U.K.), 2003)
- Get Back
- Dig a Pony
- For You Blue
- The Long and Winding Road
- Two of Us
- I’ve Got a Feeling
- One After 909
- Don’t Let Me Down
- I Me Mine
- Across the Universe
- Let It Be
- Fly on the Wall (bonus)
Original versions from Apple LP PXS 1 (U.K.), 1970